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Grandma Nardi’s Italian Easter Bread

My Grandma Nardi’s bread with dyed Easter eggs represents family and tradition. I fondly remember how she taught me the recipe when I was a little girl. —Pat Merkovich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)


  • 3 large eggs
  • Assorted food coloring
  • BREAD:
  • 2/3 cup warm 2% milk (70° to 80°)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds or poppy seeds


  • Place 3 eggs in a single layer in a small saucepan; add enough cold water to cover by 1 in. Cover and quickly bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Rinse eggs in cold water and place in ice water until completely cooled. Drain; dye hard-boiled eggs with food coloring, following package directions. Let stand until completely dry.
  • In bread machine pan, place the first 7 bread ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting. Check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1-2 tablespoons additional milk or flour if needed.
  • When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down dough; divide into thirds. Roll each into a 15-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid. Shape into a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Lightly coat dyed eggs with oil; arrange on braid, tucking them carefully between ropes. For egg wash, whisk egg with water. Brush over dough; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers.
To prepare dough by hand: In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Add eggs; beat on high 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour. Shape and bake as directed.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 157 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 264mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.
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  • suefalk
    Apr 19, 2020

    Very good! I do like to add orange zest to my dough. Mix it in the flour so it's distributed well. As for the egg decoration for reviewer ELISE - use RAW eggs. They will hard cook while baking with the bread. You can use hard boiled, however the white will be rubbery. Not to pleasant to eat. Another tip, I prepare this ready for the oven the night before so it can go right in the oven and served warm. If you bake the day before eating you will have to refridgerate the bread do to the eggs. I does dry out a bit.

  • Elise
    Apr 1, 2020

    How exactly do these eggs work? They cook for so long, being in the oven for 30 minutes after being boiled. They also are cooked with the shells on. Do you just discard the eggs, or do you eat them? The bread looks yummy, but I am very confused ??

  • Shawn
    Dec 13, 2018

    I love this scaled down recipe that yields one loaf!! Tastes exactly like my Mom’s Easter bread, but is much easier to make

  • khegeman
    Apr 4, 2018

    Excellent bread

  • peanutsnona76
    Mar 18, 2018

    Nice recipe! My maiden name was Nardi-from Upper Michigan. Wonder if we are related? Had to try the recipe when I saw the name! (My mom is also "Grandma Nardi.) Thanks for submitting such a tasty recipe!